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Alderaan Graveyard, the gift

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Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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"…Of course I’ll be fine, grandpa. I’ve visited there before, without you or dad.  I don’t know why everyone keeps thinking I’m so helpless.” Marina sighed, at the constant concern her family had of her being out there in the wild alone. She wasn’t really alone…she had a droid. It did count as something amongst a lot of circles.She knew The Metal lords thought so. But to try to explain that to her grandfather was- well, it were best not bringing that up.


“Remember, the Guardians are still patrolling it. That reported incident with the pirate raid two months ago was quickly squelched and nothing more became of it.

It’ll be alright. ..really. 

Besides, if you and dad aren’t going to make it this year, then who is going to send off your offerings?”


Beep – beep – beep….


“Oh grandpa, I got to go now…time’s almost coming up for the jump.

I’ll transmit again when I get there….

May the Star of Alderaan, shine upon you always..." Marina bade farewell just in time, as the navigation computer had approached final countdown.


The Mariner IV  had made final angle adjustment, and was coming down to 5 second countdown to her jump… ...3..2..1...

In a blink of an eye, the Mariner IV accelerated from sub light speed into hyperspace.


Marina sat back for a brief moment, watching the streaks of starlight which had suddenly come to a burst ahead of her. The streaking stars seemingly looked like a tunnel of light which her ship was speeding through. It were mesmerizing. At least upon initiation and a few seconds following, before it acted like tunnel vision.

Marina never lost her fascination of watching the star fields streak during a jump. It was always a sight to see. But after a short while, it gave her a headache if she kept looking at it. And millions of stars streaking by, sure made it hard not to notice their brilliance. For Marina, it was jut too bright to take, for any extended period of time.

 She were much younger then and knew enough than to stare into that tunnel for too long.


Marina reached over on her console and activated the auto shade switch. This sent an electron rich current through the cockpit's glass, darkening it. It was an option she thanked the gods for many times over already, that she had enough sense to install it on her ship.

The crystaline infused glass darkened to her desired shade, making the tunnel of starlight loose its brightness and intensity, as well as its hypnotic and headache inducing effect on her. It wasn’t so bad now, as her ships controls and displays were once again the main source of lighting in the cockpit.


It was only a two day's jump, based on standard time for the Mariner IV to reach her destination, from the system she had just jumped from. Marina had delivered her load of cargo in that system, as per contract, and were taking the opportunity to take a week or two off before heading back to her family estate on the new Alderaan that had been terra formed nearly a half century past.


Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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 Marina’s heart had been drumming its old beat of anxiety, for the past few days leading up to her pilgrimage.

She found it sometimes even difficult to breathe as the day’s ticked down. It were always like this, no matter how often she visited it….either with family members or going it alone.


Marina opened her eyes, for as that moment’s memory played out, she hadn't realized they closed.

“Shoot…” She gave her console a once over before getting up from the chair to exit the cockpit.

 The nav comp was locked on keeping the Mariner IV on course, making slight micro variable corrections in its trajectory. There  was nothing more to be done in here for the next two days. It wasn’t like she could even dare deviate a fractional micro angle on her own from the calculated projection her ship was following, while flying through hyperspace. Any minute fractional change or deviance from its angle plane, and before she would know she messed up, she would be instantly atomized, crashing into a large mass, like a planet…moon...asteroid… or even a star, at this speed.


Her asto-mech droid was coming up the hall as marina exited the cockpit. She waited for it, as her cabin was just outside the cockpit.

“Couldn’t sleep huh?” She commented, causing it to stop and turn it’s turret as if looking up at her.

It chirped and beeped her correct.


“Hehe…yea, my mistake..you don’t sleep, right. Got to burn that again to brain.." She gestured tapping her index to her temple.


"Ok…well, ship's under your watch...” Marina chuckled touching her cabin door. It swished open on contact.


“Just don’t wake me if we fly through a star or something…got it?” She loved to play with it.


And her droid, TK-1213 corrected her again on cue. Chirping away at Marina's amusement. She often wondered if it could read her expressions and determine if she were just playing with it or being serious. 


“Oh…that quick huh?...so, you’re saying you’d let me sleep through it?”


The little RU droid now spun itself around and resettled itself in the same position it was. Yep, it was agitated that she had forgotten that should they fly through a star, all functions , including the ship and everything in it would-


“Ok...ok…don't go popping a circuit. Got it. I’ll try to remember that. “ She was still teasing as she entered her cabin.

“ God..I don’t have memory chips like you, you know… I do tend to forget things.” And the door closed behind her, leaving the droid to beep and chirp it's frustrations in the corridor. 


Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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"Well...." Marina took a deep breath.

" ...might as well start putting the pod together…" She spoke to herself, sometimes doing that when she was traveling alone, and not in the company of her droid.

No, right now as much as TK were entertaining, she needed some time alone with her thoughts.


Marina had been out on her own again, away from New Alderaan, family and friends for a few weeks now…doing a few company transfers, pick and deliveries within the same sector she had just jumped from. 
But although her desire was great in missing them, she had a deeper drive these past few years on visiting her ancestral system more. It were difficult to explain, as she herself couldn't quite comprehend why. But that need to be there exponentially grew stronger, year after year.

The door to her quarters had slid closed a minute past already and she were still standing there.The items she were to put in the pod still lay upon her berth, where she had left them before.The weight of the world seemed to weigh on her again. It were the reason she had only been able to enter her cabin and no further. She had felt this before on the last few trips. Now once again it bared down on her...but unlike a burden it were more heart felt... seemingly a load of feelings...a rush of memories which although were familiar; they weren't hers. Well, not in the sense that she had experienced them herself during her lifetime...but feelings and memories of past lives that rejoiced infinitely. Marina had figured out what those feelings and memories were...they were her past...her people...her ancestors. They had lived with no regrets...not even their deaths.

It took years to understand this, but in dreams, year after year it all had come together.Their voices bade Marina that they had not died in vain, rather that they had lived for what they believed in...unto their passing.


Marina walked over to the bed picking up the small crystal organic sphere. It were crystal clear with what looked like a tiny blue burst deep within. It were small enough where she could close her hand around it. It had been grown/nurtured by her this past year, and as thus, it were believed to hold her true spirit, like one's thoughts and prayers. They were referred to many as heart crystals.. and they were organic in nature. They would only grow from deep center to surface when close to a living being. It took sometimes a week or more for it to start germinating. And would do so if it were close to that individual unbroken. Then it sort of took hold...bonded with that person and then and only then would it grow. But if that individual were to leave that crystal and be away from it a week or more, then that crystal would set and never to germinate again, shortly becoming forever set.


The crystals when found, were crystal clear and about 1 to 7 millimeters in size, resembling shards from a diamond.It had the unique ability to absorb and convert carbon based gases as it grew to mature into a diamond like crystal, to which it then went into a state of dormancy. It then germinated upon coming to a prolonged contact with a life form. Then it not only grew to 1 to 2 centimeters, but also a pattern of color seemed to grow from it's center or heart. These colors could be many, or singular depending on that being's demeanor.

If one were to quickly explain the means of colors..then a pure soul could form a light to dark blue burst, while an evil soul could render that starburst a deep purple red to blood red in color. Of course, the multi colors indicated many variants of moods.

These crystals are more common than many believe they are. As thus, the market for them varies per sector or by system as many see it as only a commodity and not a precious gem, as it is organic in nature during it's growth. And the larger crystals of 5 or more millimeters  before they bond can in fact be split to smaller crystals of 1 millimeter or more, but no less. Then each shard will grow to 4 or 5 millimeters and go dormant till they are once again divide or germinate once in the close proximity of a living being.Only after germination and during it‘s growth stage, as it absorbs carbon based gases and thoughts will the heart crystal form a starburst mirroring that person'r psyche. 


It often was held close to the body, near the heart when meditating. Normally placed or held fast in wood and worn as a necklace in it’s early stage. Later as it grew, it could be kept in a sort of open cradle setting, made of gold or other precious metal, and also worn as a necklace. It basically needs carbon gases and a living being with reason and emotions to enable it to grow. It had been discovered that it had the capability of storing a person’s thoughts during long exposure to that person. Not in a way that it could actually record thoughts. But in a strange way capture their mood and unique nuances of those thoughts. One could then hold the mature and hardened crystal years later, and feel those thoughts..those moods which the crystal absorbed. It were even possible at times to distinguish to whom those thoughts belonged to, if the person who had grown the crystal was known to the one feeling it. 


​Such heart crystals could be worn and set in as little as a year or a bit less, to many years or even a lifetime, which explains the multi color bursts. By tradition, as in Marina's family, it were worn on a yearly basis..like sort of making a new year's resolution. Only that it usually spanned from one birthday to the next instead of a planetary new year mark. 

Edited by Marina DeVoe, 21 January 2018 - 10:56 PM.


Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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Marina held the sphere close to her chest as she had done so for the past year. 

She could almost feel those heartwarm feelings and prayers that she believed made up the crystal's heart...a rendition of her own heart and spirit. And one could say they felt their past feelings from a crystal that they had set. But research and science had not clearly proved, nor disproved that the organic crystal could reproject those feelings which had formed the center burst. All that were certain is that the burst could only form when worn by a living being and only one living being. The crystal and burst would stop growing, if exchanged.


 Marina found it hard to put the crystal down once she re-connected to it. But perhaps it were just an attachment she had with the crystal...and traditional use of them. This perhaps had developed into a true belief that went beyond what science could measure.

Nevertheless, she detached her current feelings from the crystal, and gave it a light kiss...a farewell kiss, bading it fare journey. Marina then walked over to the open pod which was sitting on her dresser and carefully placed it in. She then took her time to gather the other precious items before putting them into the pod also.

These were gifts she was loading…the crystal, images permanently etched of her, and locks of hair…all personal items in the past year of her lives.


Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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She held the sphere close to her chest and could conjure up those stored feeling which had made the heart and crystal grow.

Marina recited a few prayers along with her own thoughts as she held the crystal. Chances were the crystal had already been set and would not react to her present state. But that didn’t matter to marina, as with crystal or not, her prayers were always from her heart on an almost daily basis.


Marina found it hard to put the crystal down once she connected to its stored feelings of her. Although many would doubt there could actually be a reconnection, once the crystal was set. For many who had tried with a set crystal, had come to wearing  it again and for many years; and they all never reactivated.

Once set, they seemed to harden for eternity.


Marina finally bade the crystal a fare journey, walking over to the open pod on her dresser and carefully laid it in. Taking her time to gather the other precious items that would accompany her crystal they were placed alongside it. The pod would deliver her gifts to her ancestor’s resting place.

These were gifts she were carefully laying in the pod…the heart crystal, images permanently etched of her, her family and close friend,  lock of her hair…all personal items in Marina’s life since she last visited; were being laid inside the pod.


Marina finally closed the pod, engaged the latch seal and picked it up. She held it close under her arm and exited her cabin to go set it in the launch tube.


Be be beep…


“I’m Ok…how are you, TK?” She replied, stepping around the droid.


The droid had been waiting outside her cabin, most likely after it had completed its task in checking all of the Mariner IV’s functions and returned to her door.

It answered with a low tone, and got to following her at a few feet distance. It had gone to a few of these trips with her since she started to fly on her own.  Or more to the fact that the droid had come with the ship, which her grandfather had commissioned for her.


And naturally, she renamed it from RU-908_ebfh13478569-2485u34;iobgf3468tr34prh9[uhnrvihjhji09u340jjjnoo to TK-1213.

Giving it a sort of pet name in the line of mocking a stormtrooper’s call letters. It really had no other meaning than just a silly name for a droid. At the time she had received the ship, along with the droid, it were nothing but a astro-mech service droid to help her with running and maintaining the Mariner IV. But as little as her first solo flight she took to heart the little droid. Now years later, she couldn’t think of flying anywhere without it’s company. It had in many ways become more than a droid…more than a pet. It seemed to border on a friend…maybe more. But she knew her feelings for it were a result of fondness…like being fond of certain things, like a gift, or a pet even. Still, the attachment she had for the droid seemed to mirrow back at her from it. She never considered it had feelings…not like she could have. But at times, she had turned to the droid for some companionship on her bad days. And that was when she was away from her family and friends…away from Alderaan too long. This trip was one of those times as it followed a few deliveries.


De be de pee beep beep


"I see... and did you replace it?"


Again it replied in it's digital version of communication. Marina couldn't understand all of what the droidbeeped out on her own, although little by little she could. But she fully understood it's translation as she did have earrings that receivedthe droid's translation from her wrist cronogram....sort of like micro ear speakers.


"Well, that's good.Just don't pile it up with the rest of the junk you keep rebuilding. We do have plenty of spare parts you know..."


But even so, it could not be argued with a droid designed to repair just about anything. To TK, it was not an option to simply discard broken parts, no. The droid repaired them and just kept pilling them up in what Marina labeled as spare, spare parts bin. Sure she could have discarded the used parts herself, but somehow she knew she would let her droid down and that would make her feel bad. Then again, who knows...all those spare ship parts could one day come in handy, despite that she kept good stock on new parts.


"Well, I almost got buried in them last time I went to check." She replied, coming to the jettison station. 

With a deep breath and sigh, she placed the pod in and locked the chamber. The pod would be at the ready when she decided to launch it.


"Fine..fine... just do tell me when it's full. Just don't start another bin without checking with me first...Okies?" She she put her hands on her hips, turning from the launch tube station.


Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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She played with her food, not being all that hungry. She had made a good effort though at preparing it, nevertheless. It were something to do on her ship besides picking an argument with her droid. It was just that a two day jump all by your lonesome self, and with all ship systems functioning normal…there wasn't a whole lot of things to do.

Reading was as good a pastime as nay, but how much can one read in a day?

Marina had actually awakened not too long ago from a 6 hour sleep, following her reflection of a life and innocence once lost. These trips to her ancestral resting place usually made her remember about her early childhood on New Alderaan. How many children had been in schools...playing...sleeping?

These thoughts weighed her heart so.

The spirit of her ancestral people called on the surviving generations to embrace life, to care for it and never have it extinguish...not even those whom had extinguished theirs.It were this spirit which had been a driving force to Marina since she had connected to them in dreams.

And so many dreams revealed her ancestor's spirit and the life they lived. It were for the most part, what one could think was 'Heaven on (earth) Alderaan'. 


life she once was privileged to, on Alderaan. And that was pretty much what she had done, following the pod's prep with the gifts she placed inside. It was now in the launch tube, ready to send off once she got there. 
It was an emotional time and floods of past dreams flooded her thoughts and as wonderful and full of happiness they were, they brought much pain and tears to her.

She had cried herself to sleep after returning to her cabin once she placed the pod in the launch tube. Upon awakeningon her bed, she found herself still fully dressed.
Getting up and making a small round, checking the ship's systems and running diagnostics...there wasn't much left to do but, shower up and do a little cooking in the galley... later immerse herself in more reading.

Marina finally pushed the plate away and picked up the hot java off the table, returning to the cockpit again. Her droid TK-1213 who at most times would take it upon itself to help busy her on normal flights, kept vigil only on the ship's functions during her pilgrimages. It would only respond and interact with Marina upon her initiative.

It somehow picked up that she were in her own thoughts and were processing something beyond what it could calculate.

A quick overview once again of the ship's systems showed that allwere operating efficiently and with no deviations outside the standard tight parameters. God, this was the hardest part of flying solo; crossing the great expanses, alone.

Marina plopped herself in her captain's chair and sipped her java.

The shaded cockpit glass, although had substantially blocked out the streaking starlight, she nevertheless could still see it. Only, it was dulled and not so blinding. One of the graphic screens to her lower right, displayed the star fields and her position along her trajectory course. She were clocking 0.9 on her hyperdrives....faster than an X-wing in hyperspace.

Once more she closed her eyes, and slouched on her seat...carefully putting her feet up on the console, being aware not to hit any switches.
She had 30-something hours left to go in the jump, and just couldn't seem to shake her depression. Present day memories of her brother and sister.. her mom and her dad... her grandparents on both sides of the family. They were what offset the sadness of her ancestral lives which had lived as happy until the final hour of darkness that came with the Empire. The former lives extinguished were constantly there, haunting her in happy dreams. Their lives lived at their fullest with their families till the end was no different than her life and family in the present. Nothing really had changed in the spirit of her ancestors then and her people now. The core values had persevered despite the genocide the Empire had enacted on her people. 


But somehow or other, she always found it comforting once she got there. It were like the sort of feeling one would get when they found themselves home following a long journey. Always, there was a sort of tranquility thatwould come over her by the time she departed the graveyard. In a strange way, Marinawould indeed find peace along the outskirts of the graveyard, like she was home on New Alderaan.

As devastated as her once beautiful ancestral Alderaan had become; literally an asteroid belt, it would calm her soul. And the built up anxiety of the past months, weeks, leading to the pilgrimage; all were set right and dissipate. Marina knew that she would feel whole again there...would feel more alive and at peace than anywhere. These visits to her ancestral home system would rejuvenate her spirits again.

But till then…her soul was restless, anticipating…wanting. She were fidgety!

God, time seemed almost to stand still! This jump, although only two days distance, seemed to be taking, like, an eternity. Even the longest jump she had ever came to record at 6.4 days hadn't been this nerve wracking.
And it came to reason that Marina would somehow tie her visit to Alderaan's graveyard a short distance from one of her delivery points. Somehow this time it hadn't worked out to be the closest. On a few occasions she had managed to schedule just a few short hours jump away.
Right now on this trip, she had too much time on her hands, and nothing to do, but wait it out.

Sleep was most likely not going to be naturally happening again anytime soon, either. And she would never chemically induce sleep while she was flying her ship...regardless of auto pilot or not...


Marina DeVoe

Marina DeVoe

    Not a flight attendant...watch your step, please..

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"Arrg!...shut it up already, Marina!.." She cried out loud.

Her thoughts on ancestral Alderaan were hauntingly repeating themselves in her head over and over. She needed a bit of time to herself...a moment...an hour...a few hours to place her somewhere else, if just to change her mood.

She gave a deep sigh and then reached for the novel that she had begun reading a few days ago, having left it just were it was in the cockpit.

It were an antique kind of book, constructed of wood pulp in the fashion of printed words on a two sided page, bound all together and encased in burnished and ornate leather. Although it had been manufactured not too long ago,it felt, smelled and had the essence of a timekeeper of words forever bound in what were once the mainstay of literature...the written word. 

The book, or books she read were on such long jumps when she were away from her home. This one in particular projected using her own imagination the dreams, hopes and despair of the characters that were not so different from her. As such it were easy for her to immerse herself in said books and allow her mind to create the tapestry, the imagery of what she imagined the world of the characters were like. It were of a story that took place in a non-existent world...an imagined world so unlike anything in her present galaxy....and there were literally countless worlds. But this one book took the imagination to a galaxy not yet to exist...far, far off into an unimaginable future. ye, it were of modest existence. Especially the world these characters in the book existed in. And as vast as this galaxy were in the book, it were sparsely inhabited. Put it more in perspective, the inhabitants in this world were for the most part the only inhabitants anywhere in that galaxy. marina couldn't have imagined such a vast galaxy with only one jewel that had life on it. And this jewel were not so different from the her old ancestral world of Alderaan which ironically no longer existed in her galaxy. Still, the world in the book were so made in her imagination to believe that it could even be how her ancestral world had once been...hundred of thousands of years ago before star-ship technology or any tech whatsoever. Life seemed so simple on this imaginary book, yet more complex than her own or any other system she knew existed. There were many factions within this imaginary world that rivaled that of her galaxy. Imagine that...one singular world in a yet to exist galaxy so far away, and yet..


It were full of so much wonder....


The author although known, was not popular at all and his works were scoffed at as being so improbable they were not to be taken as literature. Such works were labeled science fiction, as they disreguarded the universal laws and phisics of their galaxy. It were too far fetched to be literature.


But it sold nevertheless to a certain kind of readersIt's author had Marina sold.

To her, he were a master of the written word, for she could create in her mind and feel the imaginary earth under her feet...smell the air...feel it's golden sun and see with her eyes what the author wrote with his imagination. As thus, she entered his mind and and experienced his imaginary world.

marina had aquired similar works throughout her studies off world and following. She had read quite a few and coul not dream of parting with any of them. So she kept her own library on Mt Ceitril ..her home on New Alderaan.

The text was permanently infused on the pages and as she turned one page after another, she drew herself deeper and deeper into this imaginary world. In many ways, she could be said to have an out of body experience when so deeply immersed in her books. 

Of course it were not an efficient manner of storing such works on parchment like this, as for what could fit in the spase volume of one such book, an entire libray of one system could be stored in a similar but thinner tablet. But no tablet or holo projector of words could give stories more substance...more soul so to speak, to the said novel. Somehow, touching the pages, reading those infused words that were forever part of those pages... the smell of the book...the feel of the leather...the weight… It gave the story body… a temple for the story to be housed in...it gave the book soul.

 Marina knew exactly where she was in her place among the pages and words. It was so easy to go back to anywhere you wished and know how far you were. Even the words could be felt with her fingertips it seemed, as she could touch them. They were not projected pixels, nor modified polymer, like on portable screen tablets.
And so with a bit of fidgeting here and there, despite her captain's chair being ergonomically designed just for her, Marina immersed herself in the tale of a pirate who sailed the seven seas...stealing not only treasures, but hearts...her heart.

…and the hours passed quietly, as her ship streaked on across the galaxy.




* * * * * * * * 




Be--be-be-beep-beep.  Marina were awakened by her droid.


"Huh?...what is it, TK?..." She asked finding a most desperate urge to stretch. She had fallen asleep and her book lay on the floor. The droid informed her of what she already had picked up on her own.



The nav comp was itself counting down to nearing the ship's emergence into the former Alderaani star system.


"Oh wow... how long was i out?" She asked getting her chair situated to take command of the Mariner. TK picked up her book off the floor and placed it where she had it before.

The droid answered her; she had slept the entire remainder of the jump.

"Ok...looks like I caught up on lost sleep....hurray..." Naturally she weren't celebrating, as it meant she'd once again be up for god-knows-what. 


"Oh...TK..just put it in my cabin later... I finished it and just ..closed my eyes I guess.." Marina had finished the book and held it close to her before falling asleep.


The nav comp finally after a few minutes got to the final countdown…4…3…2…1…

The ship's hyper-drivesdisengaged and the Mariner IV for a split second almost seemed to be travelling backward, s as the star fields suddenly collapsed before her and came to a sort of standstill. The Mariner had come out of hyperspace and was just cresting sub-light, slowing down exponentially to what governed the laws of normal space and speed. 

They had arrived to her ancestral home system…Alderaan.



Marina sat there looking out, as she disengaged the shading on the cockpit glass. The burst of Alderaan's star filled her cockpit. And before her as far as her eyes could see, stretched the remnants of her once beloved ancestral world. Alderaan.

A tear made its way out of her glassy eyes and followed the contour of her cheek…


Edited by Marina DeVoe, 05 February 2018 - 09:31 PM.